Gerdau selects Broner for enterprise-wide, multi-plant supply chain planning & scheduling project

Broner Metals Solutions, worldwide specialist provider of integrated MES, supply chain and scheduling solutions, designed uniquely for metals producers, has been selected by Gerdau Group, to provide an enterprise-wide, multi-plant, supply chain planning & scheduling capability for the four steel plants of Gerdau Aos Especiais Brasil (Gerdau AEB).  

Gerdau AEB supply special steels to domestic and export markets. There is significant product overlap between the geographically separated plants which enables the customer to be supplied from alternative plants.  The Broner solution will allow Gerdau to make centralised decisions for allocation of inventory and plant capacity to orders. Selection of the appropriate plant will be based on geographic location, available finished or semi-finished inventory, lead time considering the rolling campaign schedules at each site and cost, in order to provide the best solution for the customers. The Supply Chain solutions also include specialised supply chain planning and scheduling solutions that optimise the schedule for each site and provide visibility of order fulfilment progress to the centralised customer services team.

Broner and Gerdau are building together on a strong relationship, started in 1995 when the first Broner Solution for Gerdau was installed in the Gerdau Piratini plant. Gerdau has since invested significantly in the business and systems integration of their Special Steels plants (Pindamonhangaba, Sorocaba, and Mogi das Cruzes). Thus, the next step is to integrate the planning and scheduling processes by implementing a standardised solution, such as Broner.

In co-operation with Gerdau, the Broner solution will ensure that all of the plants' orders and constrained capacities are taken into account in a single business operation. The system will allow the team responsible for the acceptance of the order to more easily query the capacity plan to obtain a realistic due date and have the confidence that it will be achieved.

The new solution will enable Gerdau AEB to:
 Reduce Sales lead-times by managing campaigns at each site it increase the frequency for product campaigns

 Improve Due Date promising and On-Time delivery

 Automate the scheduling process leading to increased efficiency and productivity and reduced sales lead times

 Increase agility to respond to changes in business or production priorities

This implementation builds on business process improvements by Gerdau to streamline their Sales and Operational Planning processes.

The Broner solution is a combination of the Broner Production Planner, Material Planner and Production Scheduler modules:

Broner Production Planner performs multi-plant  "through scheduling" function that optimises and balances the flow of material through the supply chain, considering actual and forecast orders, inventories, equipment capacity, rolling campaigns, order grouping and process restrictions. It will consider all possible routes and interdependencies between the plants, to create a forecast of equipment utilisation, inventories and on-time delivery for the short to medium horizon based on actual and planned demand.

The Broner Material Planner module is an automatic tool that decides which pieces should be used for which manufacturing orders, and what pieces need to be made when there is insufficient inventory to fully allocate the open orders. Allocation rules ensure the best compromise between yield and on-time delivery is achieved, while minimising finished and in-process inventory, thus reducing inventory costs.

Once orders have been planned for production at a particular plant, the Broner Production Scheduler automatically creates the schedules for the rolling mill and the finishing lines in one process, taking into account the flow of material over time, and production constraints. 

David Mushin, Broner Chief Executive said: "The single integrated solution will allow Gerdau to better manage the four separate plants as a single entity.  A key part of the solution is for Broner to provide improved integration with SAP using a standardised interface based on modern message technology powered by TIBCO."

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